Bottle sterilizers ensure that your baby bottles are free of harmful germs and bacteria that can develop in warm baby bottles. Baby bottle sterilizers are either electric or microwavable. Both are recommended by pediatricians because your home dishwasher does not reach a temperature sufficient to kill germs and bacteria. The choice to use an electric or microwavable bottle sterilizer depends on the size and portability you require in a sterilizer.
Electric steam bottle sterilizers can sterilize baby bottles in less than 10 minutes, and can also be used to sterilize feeding accessories, including manual breast pumps. Most electric bottle sterilizers hold up to 6 bottles and are easy to use -- you just add water and plug it in. An automatic shut-off turns off the unit when the sterilization and cooling cycles have completed. Electric bottle sterilizers should maintain a maximum temperature of 212 F° to ensure the fastest and safest sterilization.
Microwavable steam bottle sterilizers typically sterilize baby bottles and feeding accessories in less than 8 minutes. Most microwave bottle sterilizers hold up to 4 bottles. Microwavable bottle sterilizers are also easy to use: add water, place in microwave, set your microwave timer, and allow a minute or two after the timer for the bottles to cool. Always make sure your bottles and other feeding accessories are microwave-safe before using a microwavable bottle sterilizer.
Baby bottle sterilizers with a large capacity may save you a few trips for sterile bottles. Smaller units are lighter and handy for traveling. Most bottle sterilizers will keep the bottles sterile and protected as long as the unit is closed. You can sterilize your bottles at home and bring the entire unit with you.
Some bottle sterilizers provide an internal rack that can be used as a dishwasher basket. Many come with baby bottles, nipples and tongs to handle the sterilized items. If you use the tongs, bottle sterilizers can be a complete hands-free system offering greater protection.
- I received the Avent Express Microwave Steam Sterilizer as a shower gift and I love this sterilizer. You can use it with all kinds of bottles and binkies, not just Avent products. I washed bottles, nipples, pacifiers, and my breast pump in this sterilizer. Just pop your bottles and accessories in the sterilizer, add seven ounces of water and microwave for seven minutes. The best part is you can leave it all in there until you need it. You can bring the entire unit with you on a trip and everything remains sterilized until you open the unit. When I can load it up and leave it, it just doesn't make sense to stand over a boiling pot of water. I'd rather play and nap with my daughter.